Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Internet is Out - Now What!

We live in a connected world, and wow when the internet goes out, it can have a huge impact to your business. Now What?
Most Small Business Internet Providers are under NO obligation to you for actual service uptime. They don't really have an SLA (Service Level Agreement). Oh well they say they do, but they call it 'Best Effort'. It could be a 5 min outage or 5 day outage, they are under no obligation to you, and your repair time has no guarantee. You might think this is hard to believe, and you're right. But it's the sad fact. Around the Central Valley these are the common business providers:

Small Business Internet Services:
  • ATT Business DSL
  • Comcast Business
  • Wireless Broadband
  • Avg Cost: $60-$120 month
For the most part, these are fine services at a reasonable price. But when an outage happens, now what?
Well at the time of outage you will be subject to the torment of calling tech support and getting the runaround of issues. Usually Tier 1 tech support having to walk you through an endless list of things to try. Not to mention, if you're calling ATT, you get to have fun trying to understand what tech support is saying.

For our clients on DataCare IT Support, we handle all the Vendor Management, including working with the Internet Provider to remediate the issue. And trust me; I'm not Mr. Nice guy. Having worked with many providers, I am aware of the 'tricks' to get to the right person and get the repair expedited. Yes there are ways.

If the outage is going to be extended, we can setup a temporary wireless connection and feed your network.

Depending on the risk posed to your business and the impact from the outage, an even better question is:

How do I mitigate the risk before it happens?

2 Options:
  1. Get a more reliable Internet Service
  2. Redundant Connection
1. A more reliable connection would be an Enterprise Level Internet connection.  

With an Enterprise Internet Connection, you will truly have an SLA. Service Providers give priority service above all others. Depending on your area they give an SLA in a matter of short hours.

They also monitor your line 24/7 for any issues and make contact (usually to me the IT Admin) to pre-resolve issues.

 Enterprise Internet Connections:
  • T1, T3
  • ATT or Comcast Fiber line (10Mb and up)

These types of connections usually run on a totally separate pipe and path out to your place of business. Thus you are less susceptible to outages. With the priority response, things are up and going usually before they are an issue.  This non-comparable level of service comes with a price. Avg costs here are $400 - $2,500 month.  But if you have remote users or remote offices, you can't have an outage, so this is a 'must have' service.

2. Another protection business would get is a 2nd (redundant) internet connection. Usually they already have an Enterprise Service, then add a Small Business service as the backup / fail over.  But we have several customers who have 2x Small Business Internet Connections (one with ATT and one with Comcast). The chance of both failing is very rare. This can be done for about $250 or so a month. (although there are some cons here depending on your business needs)

If this is a serious concern for you, contact me. I can help pick a solution that’s right for your business.
Happy Clicking!

Nathan DeSutter
IT Consultant

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